By Sampson Ikemitang
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed has on Thursday, inaugurated the National Food and Nutrition Media Team in Abuja. The Minister was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Lydia S. Jafiya, Mni.
In his opening remarks, the representative of the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Sunday Baba, Director (Public Communication and National Orientation) welcomed all participants at the event. The event which took place at the National Press Centre, Abuja, attracted participation of Partners/Stakeholders from Office of the Vice President on Nutrition, Nutrition International (NI), World Bank, and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and they presented their goodwill messages.
Mr. Sunday Baba noted that nutrition is a major concern not only to Nigeria but also the world at large, as it accounts for high infant mortality in most developing countries. He posited therefore, that “good nutrition is necessary to achieve a healthy and active life, optimise educational performance and enhance productivity”.
He lauded the efforts of the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari at addressing the problem of nutrition by putting in place policies and programmes which have resulted in some progress recorded in meeting the target on maternal, infant and young children’s nutrition.
It will be recalled that the revised National Policy on Food and Nutrition and its approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in 2016 was one of the landmark steps of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari towards addressing the problem of malnutrition and food insecurity in Nigeria.
Consequently, the National Media Team on Food and Nutrition has the following terms of reference.
Be responsible for the advancement of Food and Nutrition components on the Nigerian Media space; Stimulate and provide comprehensive coverage that aids in creating awareness on Food and Nutrition benefits needs in the country; Stimulates greater nutrition reportage and programming to make nutrition a priority agenda in the public and decision-making space; Bridge communication gap between the public and stakeholders in Nutrition; Organise and cover familiarisation tours to nutrition facilities and national events relating to nutrition; Facilitates media monitoring activities across the media and MDAs involved in Food and Nutrition; Identify and mobilise other local and grassroots-based media in States and Local Governments for Food and Nutrition media coverage; amongst others.
While delivering the key note address on behalf of the Honourable Minister, Mrs. Lydia S. Jafiya, Mni, noted that malnutrition according to UNICEF, is the direct or underlying cause of 45 percent of all deaths of under-five children, adding that Nigeria is ranked number one in Africa and number two globally in terms of malnourished children, with an estimated 14.7 million children under the age of five years predicted to suffer this year from wasting.
She noted with dismay that despite the enormous resources spent by the government on nutrition interventions, the average annual rate of reduction for stunting is only 1.4 percent per year in the country. This situation, she said calls for urgent actions to strengthen current efforts by all stakeholders in order to complement government’s activity and reverse the trend.
Mrs. Jafiya, Mni, reiterated government continuous collaborative efforts with stakeholders, including development partners, Civil Society Organisations, Academia, Non-Governmental Organisations, Private sector, Community Based and Faith Based Organisations that the government has also extended its arms of collaboration to the media. According to her, the media, being the fourth estate of the realm, and the watchdog of the society has a huge and indispensable role to play in achieving the goals of the National Multi-sectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition.
The Minister stressed that the Special National Food and Nutrition Media Team was selected based on national and sub-national coverage, relevance, integrity, capability and performance. To this end, the composition of the National Food and Nutrition Media Team is as follows.
MEDIA HOUSE NOMINEES
S. A Baba (Director PC&NO)
(b) FRCN Salem Akindele-Rock
Roseline Garba (Drama producer)
(C) NTA Bassey Ita Ikpang
(d) NAN Justina Auta
(f) AIT Roluke Ogundele
(g) TVC Kemi Balogun
(h) TRUST TV Aishat Salihu
(i) LIBERTY TV/RADIO Ishaku Yohanna
(j) LEADERSHIP Patience Ivie Ihejirika
(k) VANGUARD Emmanuel Elebeke
(l) THE CABLE Maryam Abudullah
(m) NUJ Ogwu Ochiaka
👎 NCN (DU) Emmanuel Ohiomokhare
(o) THE SUN Aidoghie Paulinus
(p) WAZOBIA Atinuke Dorcas Gbija
(q) ARISE TV Ngozichi Atasie
(r) PREMIUM TIMES
Members of the National Food and Nutrition Media Team are therefore, urged to see their duties as a call to national service and bring to bear the dedication which the profession is known for in necessitating the success of this particular cause. The Minister